Saturday, May 24, 2014

New Girl 3.23: "Cruise"

“I don’t want a refund on my cruise, and I don’t want a refund on you!”

This year’s “New Girl” season finale had a lot to accomplish. Nick and Jess were in a really bad place following their break-up, and some sort of equilibrium had to be restored to end the season on the typically optimistic “New Girl” note. When Nick and Jess decided they wanted to take the whole gang on a non-refundable cruise they booked when they were still together, the hopes for a positive end to the season began to wane. Despite the confined quarters (or perhaps because of it), Nick and Jess ended the episode in a better place than they started it. Overall, though, I felt like this episode didn’t pack a whole lot of punch, kind of like season 3 of the show in general. I’m looking forward to seeing where the creative team goes next year, though, now that I think they’ve worked out some of the kinks.

So, as I mentioned already, the set-up to this episode is that Jess and Nick booked a couples cruise when they were still together. Now they’re not together, but the cruise is non-refundable. Jess called the cruise line, and they agreed to “downgrade” Jess and Nick’s stateroom by letting them bring additional people along for the cruise. So the whole gang is going, in the hopes that it won’t be too terribly awkward for Jess and Nick. This can only end in tears. For real. Schmidt only agrees to go on the cruise as long as there’s a moratorium on nautical puns. The whole thing is really just an excuse to do some product placement for Zooey Deschannel’s new nautical themed clothing line for Tommy Hilfiger. And I just mentioned it here, so mission accomplished, I guess? Well it would be accomplished if anybody actually read this blog!

Anyway, Jess and Nick hoped that having the rest of the gang around would decrease the awkward created by the recent break-up, but as you would expect, things don’t quite go according to plan. The gang all tries to be super enthusiastic, which ingratiates them to the cruise director but they’re really kind of obnoxious. Oh, and Coach is afraid of boats, apparently. His freak-out during the life boat demonstration was pretty entertaining and shows just how good Damon Wayans, Jr. is at physical comedy. The room where everybody is staying is pretty tiny, and it has six beds crammed in. Schmidt is unhappy about this because he had a big plan to win Cece back, and the accommodations aren’t exactly prime for make-up sex. Schmidt’s plan is further derailed when the “you passed your GED” class ring he commissioned for Cece ends up at the bottom of the ocean following a cruise director-instigated tickle attack (the cruise director was trying to cheer Schmidt up).

The extent of how awkward this is going to be for Jess and Nick is apparent early on, when Jess freaks out over Nick appearing to flirt with the ship’s female captain. Jess and Nick, however, double down on their “we’re going to get over the awkward by spending a ton of time together” strategy. They had purchased a $600 “Grand Romance” package pre-breakup, and since they don’t want to lose their money, they commit to doing all those activities anyway. There’s yoga where the instructor tells the couples to “breathe into their genitals,” a photo shoot that was really lame, a couples massage, and a towel sculpting class. Nick and Jess get through it all with a smile, but the smiles say that things are still very wrong. Nick tries to kiss Jess after they have more wine, and Jess doesn’t respond well to this at all. They decide that the best way to survive the rest of the cruise is to be on opposite sides of the boat from each other. When Winston finds this out, it makes him very sad, and he wants to try and fix things.

Meanwhile, Schmidt is still trying to unsuccessfully win Cece back. He sets up a violin player serenade and everything, but the mood is killed when Cece keeps trying to get cell phone reception. She really wants to try and call Buster (her 20-year-old boyfriend) because she wants to have a relationship that works for once. Schmidt decides (wisely) that if he really loves Cece, he should let her try to be happy. The gang then comes together to try and figure out what to do about Nick and Jess. It’s Winston, of course, who decides that the best course of action would be to put Nick and Jess in a confined space together and force them to work out their differences. Cue the Captain announcing that Nick and Jess need to return to their stateroom for a “non-life-threatening-but-necessary official maritime situation.”

The gang all assembles in the stateroom and the Do Not Disturb sign goes on the door. Once the conversation starts, Jess and Nick both admit that they’re unsure about how well living together is going to work moving forward. They’re not sure how they will react when they each start seeing other people. Admitting this sets things off in the right direction, and Jess and Nick even admit to the rest of the group that they almost kissed due to the romance overload of the Grand Romance package. Finally, they admit that they’re okay with each other now. The gang wants to go enjoy the newfound peace, but there’s just one problem. The door to the stateroom is stuck, and Coach got rid of the phone (because he thought the intervention would be much more intense). Three days later, somebody finally breaks into the room, and it looks like it’s been all “Lord of the Flies” in there. When they finally make it home, the roomies hand their picture from the newspaper (their trapped in the room incident was big news, apparently), and Schmidt and Nick decide to bunk together.

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